Is there hope for Messies?

Confession time here. As those who know me have heard me say, I am an “all or nothing kind of person”. I procrastinate cleaning the house until it’s a cluttered, awful mess and then…then…I dig in and clean the hell out of it.

Daily maintenance is such a struggle for me, for whatever reason. I am an admitted perfectionist and feel like I have to do something absolutely right, or it’s not worth even doing. But that overwhelms me and I can’t face the actual starting. It’s an ugly, vicious circle. And I’ve lived under a cloud for decades now, feeling like a real failure when it comes to getting my life in order.

I am mortified if people drop by unexpectedly because the house is in a shambles. What? You say my house looks so nice? Open the closets, dears. Stop by sometime when I’m not expecting anyone. If – and only if – I let you in the front door, you will see. I’ve tried making lists, I’ve tried setting aside one day to clean, spreading it out throughout the week…I’ve tried just about everything.

Ack! Is there hope? I sure hope so, and I believe there is. Last week I listened to an archived broadcast of Focus on the Family, entitled Coping as a Messie. When I wasn’t laughing aloud at this lady’s humor, I was sitting open-mouthed as she described this old girl to a T. When she said the majority of the messies she speaks to overwhelmingly use the phrase “I’m drowning”, I knew I’d found someone who knew me.

You can listen to it at, where archived broadcasts are available in both RealOne and Windows Media formats. Scroll down a bit to find that show.

Even if you’re a cleanie, listen. It will help you understand why some of your friends, neighbors, roommates, family members and others are the way they are. Most of them aren’t just lazy,and they don’t do it just to irritate you. Honest.

Take me…It’s not just that I am online now; shoot, I’ve always been this way, even before we had a computer. Sandra says messies are highly sentimental and surround themselves with personal momentos. Yep! They are practical and keep things because they, or someone else, really might need that thing someday. Yep!

I ordered Sandra Felton’s book, The New Messies Manual (no tax or shipping!) and it arrived today. The first chapter just smacks of me. Can you imagine the relief I feel? I’ve also been lurking around her website, and have a tiny glimmer of hope in me that things can change.

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